April 24, 2004
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EVANSTON, Ill. - Minnesota scored four runs in the final two innings of regulation and three more in the extra-inning, handing NU a 7-5 eight-inning loss in game two of Saturday's doubleheader. NU held a 3-0 lead until the final three innings of the game, falling to 16-18-1 overall, 6-9 in the Big Ten. The Gophers improved to 21-15, 9-6.
In the top of the seventh, Wildcat starter Dan Konecny ran into trouble. With one out, Konecny gave up a single and walked the next batter, putting runners on first and second with one out. Head coach Paul Stevens called on closer Jon Mikrut for the second time in the doubleheader, moving him from shortstop to the mound. Mikrut pitched the final two outs of game one for his fourth save.
On the mound, Mikrut induced a slow groundball to the shortstop, forcing the runner at second base for the second out. With runners on first and third and two outs, Mikrut gave up two straight singles, putting Minnesota on top 4-3.
Konecny pitched six and one-third innings, striking out three in the no decision.
Behind 4-3 heading into the bottom of seventh inning, NU tied the game, sending them to their fourth extra-inning game of the season.
Just like it had done in game one, NU scored the tying run with two outs. Center fielder Matt Brimmer was hit by a pitch and moved to second on Mark Ori's single through the left side of the infield. Catcher Dan Pohlman followed with a sharp single to left field, scoring Brimmer from third, tying the game 4-4.
Minnesota plated three runs in the top of the eighth inning off reliever Julio Siberio
. Siberio was in relief of Mikrut who pitched the final two outs of the seventh inning.
NU did score a single run in the bottom of the eighth, but it was not enough, as Siberio fell to 1-2 on the year.
Offensively, Ori continued to swing a hot bat, finishing the game 3-for-4. Ori was 6-for-8 on the day, going 3-for-4 in game one. Pohlman had his second straight three-RBI game, finishing the day 4-for-7 with six RBI. Pohlman has a team-leading 29 RBI, including 17 in Big Ten play. Third baseman Josh Lieberman was 2-for-5 with an RBI, as Jason Krynski went 2-for-4 with his team-leading 11th double. Left fielder Anthony Wycklendt also went 1-for-2 with a run scored in the contest.
Northwestern and Minnesota play the series finale at 1 p.m. Sunday.